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Black Magic
Routes Sorted
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Black Magic S 
Chalk on the trigger S 
Climb Interrupted  S 
Helix S 
Kronk S 
Lock and Load S 
Needles and Pins S 
Orogeny S 
Problem Child S 
Simian S 
Stay on the Porch S 


YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: Gordon Douglass, Mindy Shulak
Page Views: 2,286
Submitted By: richard magill on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (27)
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Thomas Holmes working on getting established in th...
Located in a National Forest Fee Area MORE INFO >>>


If I were to list off a handful of the top middle 5.12 sport routes I've ever done, the list would probably start out something like this:- Rifle's "Pretty Hate Machine"- Cal Dome's "Ginsu"- VRG's "Mentor"- Cave Rock's "Fire in the Hole"- AF's "Helix"

Strong enough endorsement?

Anyway, if you find the Black Magic cave, you can't miss Helix.It starts on the left side of the cave and spirals up into a hole.Great fun!


6 or 7 bolts to anchors

Photos of Helix Slideshow Add Photo
In the good hole and onto the underclings
In the good hole and onto the underclings
Clark, transitioning to the center of the cave.
Clark, transitioning to the center of the cave.
Resting on the slab before the steep cave business begins.
Resting on the slab before the steep cave business...
Court yarding off the flake to lunge for the hole
Court yarding off the flake to lunge for the hole
What a fun route!
What a fun route!
Comments on Helix Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 14, 2013
By Neal Carroll
Oct 12, 2004
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

I STRONGLY disagree with the proposed quality of this route. It does not deserve to be included with the aforementioned group of my estimation. Truly an unpleasant undertaking.

By d-know
From: electric lady land
Jan 28, 2006
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

poo choss weird dirty

By Gordon Douglass
May 19, 2006

Neal - I did not know you did not like hand jamming that much. The Helix is a TOTAL classic!

Gordon Douglass

From: Winston-Salem, NC
Jul 20, 2010

Not chossy or dirty in the least. Great route.

By Flacker
Aug 15, 2012

I disagree with all these comments, fun route (but not classic), no choss, dirt, or hand jams, but hand jugs and rope drag

By Thomas Holmes
From: Utah
Aug 15, 2012

There are two hand jams in the roof, if you place your feet correctly you can get a surprisingly good rest. This route is unique for sure, but not poor in quality. If your not well versed in different styles of climbing (not saying i am) I would imagine this route would give you trouble. I had to place double length draws on the first four bolts to avoid rope drag.

Slab, jugs, buckets, crimps, jams... and its steep.

Awesome climb.

By Mark SLC
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 3, 2012
rating: 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b

Amazing. Couple observations...the flake was a bit spooky. Wouldnt want to be yarding on if it comes down on the rope. Probably fine though. As for the route- 12b? We found this stout. Getting off the flake - even on the dog, even to make the next clip and hit the roof pocket- was pretty damn tough and a huge move. My partner who is shorter and stronger couldn't even make the move. Maybe something broke here or we just botched the sequence. Or we just need to get stronger. At any rate I think most 12b leaders will find this a tough tick. Pretty pumpy to boot.

All in all, the most unique and one of the best routes in the canyon- if not anywhere for sport. The rock looks like a choss fest, but isn't. Plenty clean. And yeah I could see how someone who can't jam would probably not be a happy camper

By dbrown
Sep 4, 2012
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Great climb! Like Thomas said if you hand jam there's a rest before the move to the hole. Tape gloves help. I've done the climb with hand jamming and without, but when there's a beautiful hand jam in the middle of a roof... you just gotta use it!

By nathan williamson
Apr 30, 2013

Fixed gear was as old as me. We put up a few new draws. Great classic route.

By Halley13
From: Longmont, CO
Jun 8, 2013

When else have you gotten to spiral your way through jugs in a steep cave? This route is just plain FUN! Classic or not, this route is worth the burn.

By Spencer Weiler
From: SLC, UT
Sep 14, 2013

Spectacular. As good a sport route as any I've done, certainly the most unique. Hand jams are everywhere. in the flake, in the hole, in the lieback pockets at the end, then a double toe hook to clip the chains. Francis and Crick would be proud.